Airbnb suspends all operations in Russia, Belarus

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Online vacation rental company Airbnb has announced to suspend all operations in Russia and Belarus amid the Ukraine invasion.

The company’s CEO and Co-Founder, Brian Chesky announced on Twitter: “Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus.”

A spokesperson from Airbnb told TechCrunch that this “means that we will block calendars from accepting new bookings in both countries until further notice. We will also restrict users in Belarus and Russia from making new reservations as guests.”

The announcement from Airbnb came after the company said it will facilitate free and temporary housing for up to 1,00,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.

“In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine. That’s $1.9 million going to hosts in need. Such a cool idea from our community. Thank you,” Chesky said.

The company will fund the stays with help from Airbnb hosts and donations to Airbnb.org, which provides people with emergency housing in times of crisis.

“The greatest need we have is for more people who can offer their homes in nearby countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania,” the company CEO said.

The company says that over the past five years, Airbnb and Airbnb.org have connected more than 54,000 refugees, including from Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan, to temporary housing.

“People are booking Airbnbs in Ukraine, they don’t intend to stay in just to help the hosts,” the Airbnb CEO added.

–IANS

na/khz/