Airbnb is halting operations in Russia and Belarus, CEO Brian Chesky announced in a tweet. That includes around 90,000 active short-term rentals across different platforms in Russia and just over 1,800 in Belarus, according to Reuters.
Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
Chesky brought the situation up yesterday saying "all things are on the table" due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On Monday this week, Airbnb offered free housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing to European nations including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania.
Airbnb users have been taking things into their own hands, too. Members of the public purchased Airbnb rentals in Ukraine to help get money to residents facing severe economic hardship, as The Guardian reported. "My wife and I have just booked your apartment for one week, but of course we will not be visiting. This is just so you can receive some money," wrote one user to an Airbnb renter in Ukraine. Airbnb has also agreed to waive guest and host fees on all bookings in the nation.
Over a million refugees have fled the country since Russia's invasion started, according to the UN, and it estimates that up to four million people could eventually leave.