[tz] Error in the Time Zone Database

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Thu Dec 6 20:05:11 UTC 2018

On 12/5/18 11:21 AM, serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua wrote:
> the latest release of the time zone database (version from 
> 10/26/2018), states that Crimea (Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of 
> Crimea) belongs to the time zone "MSK" and is marked with the country 
> code "RU".

That marking is in the file zone1970.tab, which contains the following text:

# This table is intended as an aid for users, to help them select timezones
# appropriate for their practical needs.  It is not intended to take or
# endorse any position on legal or territorial claims.

And we're serious about this. We do not take any sides in territorial 
disputes such as the dispute Russia and Ukraine currently have over Crimea.

The data for Europe/Simferopol, and the dispute over whether the file 
zone1970.tab should list its country code as "RU" or "UA", are like the 
data for Asia/Seoul, a city that zone1970.tab lists under South Korea 
("KR") even though Seoul is claimed by North Korea ("KP") as an integral 
part of its territory. There are similar disputes over other tzdb 
entries, notably Asia/Jerusalem. Cases like these are resolved by the 
general principle that the time zone database is intended for practical 
use, and as a practical matter when people use time zone data they 
typically want to know the facts on the ground even when these are not 
the facts as they ought to be.

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