Kirov on GMT+4?

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Tue May 16 22:28:49 UTC 2006

Rives McDow <rmcdow at> writes:

> I have been in contact with a Russian astronomer in Murmansk, as well
> as someone who works in what would be the Department of
> Transportation in the US.  They both say that Kirov is GMT+4, and
> that it uses daylight savings time.  I can write the astronomer again
> and see if anything has changed, but it is via surface mail, and
> takes about a month to get a reply.

Thanks for the info.

Kirov / Vyatka is an obscure case.  It is a city that appears to have
two names, depending on context, which means that if we added it to
the database, we'd need to pick a name.  (Is it normally called
"Kirov" or "Vyatka" in typical conversation?  I don't know.)

Possibly different parts of the region observe different time zones
depending on the context.  I wouldn't be surprised, for example, if
some businesses (near the train station, for example?) observe Moscow
time even if most of the region is one hour ahead of Moscow time.

Here are a couple of data points that contradict each other.

<>'s time stamp "1:25 am" generated at
21:25 UTC today indicates that the current time zone for this service
is UTC+4, which suggests that Kirov is UTC+3 during winter, UTC+4
during summer.  A note at the bottom right says "Часовой пояс: GMT +
4", which agrees with the time stamp.  On the other hand, possibly is not located in Kirov, or it's configured using
Moscow time even though Kirov uses UTC+4, or it's configured to not
observe DST.

On the other side,
<> contains a
seemingly authoritative commentary saying that Kirov was 1 hour ahead
of Moscow on 2003-08-14 at 12:20 local time, as reported by traveler
Digby Russell Simon Tarvin.  As the photo makes clear he did get off
the train and wandered through the train station during what he
reports was a 20-minute stop.  However, I suppose it's possible that
the train station itself observed Moscow time and that his comment
about Kirov being an hour ahead is simply copied from his tourist
guidebook rather than being an actual observation of a local clock.

For an example of misinformation along these lines, please see
<>, which claims that
Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Vladimir are all at UTC+4; this is
obviously bogus.  An even better caution to the unwary:

  All long distance trains follow Moscow time, so we've had to be
  aware of how many hours ahead of the capital we are on each leg and
  at each stop. It finally caught us out yesterday on the train from
  Yekaterinburg to Kazan. Our guide book told us Kazan was two hours
  ahead of Moscow - when in reality it's the same time
  zone. Unfortunately, we only discovered the truth in the last stages
  of the trip - after much confusion. The mistake meant we had lunch
  at 10am instead of when we thought it would come at noon. Of course,
  another breakfast beer delivery came with it.

  Emma Griffiths (2005-06-25)

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