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In an effort to help Ukrainians impacted by the ongoing Russian military invasion, people around the world are paying for Airbnb rentals to provide financial aid.
According to The Guardian, Airbnb users have started a grassroots effort to donate money directly to those affected by the war by sending money to those who remain in Ukraine through the home rental platform.
Social media users posted letters written to the homeowners revealing the booking was a way to donate money during their time of need. In response to an inquiry from The Guardian, officials representing the home rental platform said they planned to waive the fees and started offering free housing to around 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Airbnb currently lists more than 300 properties for rent across Ukraine.
“We appreciate the generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” the Airbnb spokesperson said. “Airbnb is also waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.”
As for what the company will do in terms of continuing operations in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said officials are formally reviewing its strategy.
“We don’t have a large business in Russia,” Chesky said. “It is not one of our major markets. [But] we are absolutely revisiting our relationship [about whether] to do business in Russia.”
“In a global humanitarian crisis like this I think everyone should ask the question: how can we help,” Chesky continued. “The way Airbnb can help is we provide housing for millions of people every night all over the world. If you want to take in a refugee family, we are going to work with resettlement partners.”
In addition to several major carriers—including United Airlines—revealing all flights that enter Russian airspace would be canceled or rerouted, cruise lines have altered or canceled scheduled sailings that included stops in Russia and Ukraine due to the ongoing war.