Crimea switches to Moscow time amid incorporation frenzy

A general view shows St. Michael the Archangel Church in the hills overlooking the Crimean town of Yalta. Credit: Reuters
A general view shows St. Michael the Archangel Church in the hills overlooking the Crimean town of Yalta.
Credit: Reuters

The hands of a clock on the main railway station in Simferopol jumped from 10 P.M. to midnight on Saturday as Crimea switched to Moscow time, symbolicly finalizing the region’s incorporation into Russia.

Several hundred people gathered on the railway square for the ceremonial change of time, waving Russian national flags and chanting “Crimea! Russia!” after Moscow formally annexed the Black Sea region from Ukraine on March 21.

“I greet you with our return home,” Crimea’s new pro-Moscow Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov told the crowd.

“I am confident that all that we have done is to the benefit of Crimea and Crimeans,” he exclaimed, extending his thanks to “our President Vladimir Putin” to noisy applause from the crowd.

Wrapped in Russian flags and some with tears of joy in their eyes, the people gathered in the provincial capital of Simferopol on Saturday sang Russia’s national anthem when the clock moved to Moscow time.

“This is my moment of happiness. We all dreamed of this but did not dare think it may come now,” said Tatiana, a 35-year-old waitress dancing to the music played on the square.

Her colleague Inga said she was 11-years-old when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, giving Ukraine independence and splitting Crimea from Moscow.

“My heart was crying back then. But now it is rejoicing, we have returned home. We were born on Moscow time and we are back to it again,” she said. “I love the Ukrainian people but I do not recognize Ukraine as a country.”

Crimea has already introduced the Russian ruble as its official currency and started paying out pensions and state salaries in the unit since the region voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia on March 16.

Kiev and the West have denounced Russia’s annexation of Crimea, an impoverished region of 2 million people with a narrow ethnic Russian majority, as illegal and undermining peace in Europe.

The United States and Europe curbed cooperation with Moscow and introduced sanctions on Russia as well as some of Putin’s closest allies over the move but have refrained from harsh economic sanctions.

Kiev has ordered its troops in Crimea to retreat to the mainland, acknowledging defeat after Russian soldiers grabbed Ukrainian bases in the region one after another in a largely bloodless seizure.

Scores of mid-level Russian officials are now in Simferopol helping the local authorities to bring Crimea’s legal and tax regulations in line with the Russian ones, a process due to be finalized by the end of the year.

Aksyonov and Crimea’s new authorities hope Russia will now sponsor an economic upgrade of the region, a project likely to put additional pressure on the state coffers in Moscow that are already strained from a slowing economy.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.