Airbnb Suspends All Operations In Russia, Belarus

Home rental company Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus, as global tech continues to cut ties with the two pariah nations.

The move was revealed Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Twitter on Thursday. “Airbnb is suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus,” he tweeted.

And the firm is not stopping there. It is also working with its hosts to provide somewhere to stay for the women and children fleeing the country.

Airbnb

Refugee offer

Airbnb’s decision to suspend all operations in Russia and Belarus is not expected to have a dramatic impact on the firm’s bottom line, but it will add to the financial pain being experienced by Russian citizens.

Market research firm AirDNA estimates that Russia has 90,000 active short-term rentals available on Airbnb.

And Airbnb’s Chesky has also revealed that it is seeking to house up to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine, free of charge.

He is asking hosters in Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania to contact Airbnb.org. He is also seeking donations.

Meanwhile in a separate development, it seems that Airbnb users have begun to book rentals in Ukraine, but with no intention of travelling there to use them.

Instead, this trend is intended to help give financial assistance to Airbnb hosters in the country, and it is also intended to send a signal that the rest of the world is standing with Ukraine in its hour of need.

Russia exit

Airbnb is the latest in a long line of tech firms withdrawing their services or products from Russia.

And it is not just technology or financial firms withdrawing from Russia.

On Thursday Swedish furniture giant Ikea said it would close all of its stores in Russia, and stop sourcing materials from Russia and Belarus.

It joined Apple, M&S, Burberry, Boohoo, Netflix, Mercedes-Benz Group, Ford and BMW, who have all suspended trading in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Even film studio such as Warner Brothers, Disney and Sony have pulled film releases from Russia, in a further attempt to isolate Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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