[OSM-talk] Crimea situation - on the ground

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Thu Feb 6 11:38:09 UTC 2020

As most of you will know, the DWG on 14 Nov 2018 had reconsidered its
original statement on Crimea from 5 June 2014, and decided to acknowledge
that on the ground, Russia was controlling the territory and that the
situation seemed fairly stable. On 10 December 2018, the OSMF board decided
to return to the 2014 resolution. In its reasoning, board refers to the
community as a whole ("The previous situation with the exception in place
was obviously much more acceptable to the OSM community as a whole"), but
also reaffirms that it supports the on-the-ground-rule: "

We recognize that a lot of work has gone into the current Disputed Area
Policy, and both DWG and LWG have assured us that the "on the ground
rule" generally works well to avoid and settle conflicts. We, therefore, do
not want to weaken that policy."

My belief is that the reason for the on-the-ground rule to exist, is
actually solving problems like the one in Crimea, and that we are weakening
our position as "neutral", global community, if we make any exceptions to
the rule. While I fully support the 2014 DWG resolution for the situation
of 2014 (indeed potentially unclear if it would be stable), I also agree
that in 2018 DWG couldn't decide differently than how they did.

I therefore ask the current OSMF Board to reconsider the 2018 board
decision and put the updated DWG statement from Nov 2018 into effect. This
is not a question whether you believe, Crimea should belong to Ukraine or
Russia, it is a principal question of creating together a truely impartial
and indipendent map and adhering to our own standards.

Like the former OSMF board, the DWG and LWG, I do not want to weaken that


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