Most people usually live their daily lives without much thought about the time of day or night it might be on the other side of the earth. It is pretty amazing to realize that while it may be daytime on one side of the earth, it is night time on the other. We coordinate and organize our days with the help of time zones.
Time is different around the world and it is based on the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). There are a total of 24 time zones around the globe. Ukraine currently has three time zones, with only one being officially observed in most of the country.
Aren’t time zones so fascinating? It may be evening time for you somewhere in the United States, while tomorrow already took place for people in Europe. The question here is, how many time zones are in Ukraine and what are they?
Let’s dive into a brief history of Ukraine’s change in the use of daylight saving time and some details of the time zones in Ukraine.
Some History of Time Zones in Ukraine
Let’s briefly look at some history of how Ukraine used and changed its time zone in the last 20 years or so. You will learn here that Ukraine has introduced and abolished the use of daylight saving time several times since the 1980s.
Ukraine adopted daylight saving time in the 1980s when it was still a part of the Soviet Union. On March 20, 1992, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine officially declared an order of calculating time on the territory of Ukraine, making the use of daylight saving time official.
However, on September 20, 2011, Ukraine canceled the plan to switch from the use of Eastern European Summer Time (daylight saving time) to Eastern European Time, and on October 18 of that year, Ukraine’s government changed its mind and returned to standard time.
In 2014, the Crimea region, which used to be southern Ukraine, decided to forego the use of Eastern European Time after it was annexed by Russia. On March 29 of 2014, Crimea began to follow Moscow Standard Time.
After Crimea, other regions in Ukraine followed its lead to join Moscow Standard Time. The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk were occupied by Russia and eventually, on October 26, 2014, both regions switched to Moscow Standard Time.
Let’s now look at some details of Ukraine’s time zones.
What Time Zones Does Ukraine Have Now?
Ukraine has three time zones: Eastern European Time, Central European Time, and Moscow Standard Time. However, EET is the one official time zone of Ukraine.
Let’s take a look at each time zone in Ukraine, approximately which territories are in the given time zone, and how they differ.
1. Eastern European Time
Ukraine’s official time zone is Eastern European Time, which is locally referred to as Kyiv Time (Kyivskyi chas). It covers almost all of the territory of Ukraine.
Eastern European Time is defined as UTC+02:00. This is the time in Ukraine from late October to late March. In the remaining months, the time is defined as UTC+03:00, gaining one hour.
Every year between the end of October and the end of March, the time in most of Ukraine is one hour back. The time is changed one hour forward for the remaining months.
The daylight saving time in Ukraine is the period when the time is one hour ahead. It is also called Eastern European Summer Time. Ukraine goes back to Eastern European Time when the time is one hour back.
The daylight saving time in Ukraine will take place on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 03:00. It will end on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 04:00.
EET is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time and 9 hours ahead of Mountain Time. EET is 6 hours behind China.
Eastern European Time is used by central Europe, some of the Middle East, as well as eastern Africa. EET is precisely the same as Central Africa Time.
This time zone is used in nearly 95% of Ukraine’s territory, except for the far western and eastern sides of Ukraine.
2. Central European Time
A very small part of Ukraine is in the Central European Time zone. A tiny portion of Zakarpattia Oblast is in Central European Time.
Zakarpattia Oblast is a region in western Ukraine, which borders Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. This part of Ukraine attracts tourists for its ski and spa resorts. The area mostly consists of hills and approximately 80% of mountains.
3. Moscow Standard Time
The Russians occupying some of the regions of Ukraine has impacted the time zone in those regions. According to Time and Date, the time zone in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea regions is now Moscow Standard Time.
Moscow Standard Time is defined as UTC+3. MST does not have daylight savings time. MST is used in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Interestingly enough, there are some 18 other countries that have exactly the same temporal distance to Universal Time Coordinated as Moscow Standard Time. However, those countries name their time zones differently.
Time zones are fascinating. Every time zone in the world is calculated based on the Coordinated Universal Time. While there are technically three time zones on the territory of Ukraine, only one of them is widely accepted and officially observed in Ukraine. The one official time zone in Ukraine is Eastern European Time.
Ukraine switched from using daylight saving time to abolishing it a few times in its history. Currently, it is implemented and the next daylight saving time change will take place on March 26, 2023, at 03:00.
The other two time zones, including Central European Time and Moscow Standard Time, are not official time zones in Ukraine. Only a very small part of one region in Ukraine is in CET, while three larger regions are in MST. The three regions in Ukraine that are in MST are those that have been occupied by Russia.