• An initiative to financially support families in Ukraine by booking Airbnb rentals was launched by Brooklyn-based influencer Tommy Marcus
  • Around 61,406 Airbnb rentals worth $1.9 million have been booked so far
  • The company will cancel any fees associated with bookings that were part of the initiative

More than 60,000 nights' worth of Airbnb rentals were booked in Ukraine to provide financial assistance to those affected by Russia's invasion of the country.

The bookings were the result of an initiative the popular Instagram account Quentin.Quarantino — run by Brooklyn-based influencer Tommy Marcus — announced Wednesday to financially support families in Ukraine by booking Airbnb rentals, the New York Post reported.

Hundreds of people booked rentals in Ukraine within 24 hours of the announcement, according to Marcus, who raised $7 million last year via GoFundMe to help evacuate Afghan refugees.

Airbnb later came out in support of the initiative, with the company's CEO, Brian Chesky, describing it as a "cool idea from our community."

"We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis," Airbnb communications director Liz DeBold Fusco was quoted as saying.

The San Francisco-based company, which lists more than 300 properties for rent across Ukraine, also revealed it will cancel any fees associated with those bookings.

At least 61,406 nights' worth of rentals were booked in Ukraine, 34,000 of which were booked by residents in the U.S. alone.

The bookings translated to around $1.9 million going to "hosts in need," according to Chesky.

“You have no idea how valuable it is now. We are all stopped,” one host, identified only as Oksana, responded to another individual who rented her Airbnb. “I’m with two children, 3 and 6 years old, hiding in the Kyiv region. We have a cellar, with me another family with a girl of 6 years and an old woman . . . together we will overcome this bad.”

Marcus' initiative came after Airbnb announced it would facilitate short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine.

The stays will be funded by Airbnb, donors to the company's independent non-profit organization, as well as the "generosity of hosts" through

" will work directly through nonprofits on the ground, who are responsible for booking and coordinating stays for refugee guests, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or how they identify," the company said.

In contrast, Airbnb suspended all of its operations in Russia and Belarus over their roles in the invasion of Ukraine.

The company will block calendars from accepting new bookings in both countries "until further notice," a spokesperson for the company said.

Additionally, Airbnb will restrict users in Russia and Belarus from making new reservations as guests.

"We certainly hope that as we look to the future, a path to peace is forged," the Aribnb spokesperson said.

The lodgings will be funded by the company, donors to an Airbnb fund for refugees, and hosts
The lodgings will be funded by the company, donors to an Airbnb fund for refugees, and hosts AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE