In September this year the Ukrainian parliament decided not to move the clocks back to winter time later in October. The political background of the decision was more than clear: the pro-Russian government in Kyiv was aping the Kremlin “astronomers” who opted on the “eternal” summer time in the Moscow time zone. But being tethered to the Moscow time meant that the people of Western Ukraine had to begin their day long before the sunrise. The category that was going to suffer most were children – especially those who go to kindergartens and primary schools. When the morning debates started in parliament on October 18, the ruling party representatives argued that the decision to move into winter time would be a “stab in the back”, because exactly on that day (October 18) the Ukrainian and Russian leaders were meeting about gas supply to Ukraine. The discord in the time according to which the Russians and the Ukrainians lived would supposedly “threaten very important economic decisions” at the Medvedev-Yanukovych summit! The difference between the Kyiv winter time and the Moscow summer time would be two hours!! In the Soviet Union the whole of the European part of the country was in the Moscow time zone!!!

However, a few hours of the summit meeting between the Russian Medvedev and the Ukrainian Yanukovych showed that there would be no concessions on the part of Moscow regarding the price for gas deliveries. Yanukovych was definitely offended by the “non-brotherly” stand of the Russian counterpart and the go-ahead for  winter time in Ukraine was given! In the afternoon the Ukrainian parliamentarians voted “for winter.”

You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. People are trying make laws of nature politically appropriate. Again and again history teaches us lessons which we will not learn. In the past we called genetics and cybernetics “bourgeois science.” The ignoramus Michurin was rocketed by Stalin into the position of “god” in horticulture (“Soviet horticulture”!). This time there came into being a new branch of knowledge – “political astronomy.”


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