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The total number of Russia's time zones was reduced from 11 to nine today as part of an initiative backed by President Dmitry Medvedev to tighten the country's economic integration.

The far eastern regions of Kamchatka and Chukotk went from being nine hours ahead of Moscow to eight, putting them in the same time zone as the neighboring Magadan region. In the European part of Russia, the Samara and Udmurtia regions, which had earlier been one hour ahead of Moscow were brought to Moscow time.

A fifth region, Kemerovo in southern Siberia, also did not set its clocks forward, bringing it from the Krasnoyask time zone into the Omsk time zone, which is one hour closer to Moscow.

Medvedev first proposed reorganizing Russia's time zones last November and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued a decree ordering the changes earlier this month.

compiled from agency reports
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