The world turns to Airbnb to help refugees in the midst of war in Ukraine
Most of the world is on the same page when it comes to the current war in Ukraine. In fact, the 28 member countries of the European Union are united in their disgust at Russia’s violent and devastating policies. invasion of ukraine somehow, few people thought it was possible. And the world’s largest country, led by Vladimir Putin, is being hit with debilitating sanctions that will hopefully give Ukrainians who fled the chance to return home soon. Until then, the world is helping in a rather unexpected way: they are booking Airbnb properties in Ukraine.
Sure, Ukraine isn’t exactly a destination for jet-setters right now, but the point of booking on Airbnb was not to spend a relaxing holiday in a charming Eastern European mansion. International users of the vacation booking app quickly grabbed as many Airbnb properties in Ukraine as they could. And when they couldn’t, they urged others to do so on Twitter. The disinterested funneling of money into the hands of Ukrainians spread quite quickly. Even Airbnb has moved to scrap guest and host fees, so rental money goes directly to owners and hosts.
And to top it off: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently tweeted that the company, at least for now, will be suspending operations in Russia and Belarus. This is just one of hundreds of sanctions Russia has been hit with after invading Ukraine. Whether the sanctions will be strong enough to stop Russia in its tracks remains to be seen, but at least they make a pretty forceful statement. What’s more, Airbnb doesn’t stop at waiving fees and initiating penalties: they’re also donating up to 100,000 homes for Ukrainian refugees who left their lives behind and fled.