Fuminori Tsutiko: The Selfless Japanese Supporter of Ukraine

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A 75-year-old Japanese traveller, Fuminori Tsutiko, arrived in Kharkiv, Ukraine, after learning about the war in Ukraine while in Poland. He was surprised by the history of the residents of Kharkiv, who had to flee their homes and live in the city’s subway to escape Russian attacks. Tsutiko decided to become a volunteer to support the Ukrainian people.

Living in the Subway

For nine months, Tsutiko lived with Kharkiv residents in the subway, leaving every day to bring food to people who couldn’t leave the city. Initially, he brought food for 3,000 people, but eventually, he had to scale it down to 150 people because the finances ran out. Restaurants provided food at first, but eventually, Tsutiko began running to shops to buy supplies. He washed with cold water in the summer, but it was very cold in the winter.

Actively Helping Ukrainians

His story has inspired many people. Kharkiv resident Zoya Reshetniak said that he slept next to them, talked to their kids. He lived with them and helped them in every way he could. Iryna Lebedynets said that he paid for everything and helped her get pills when she couldn’t. Tsutiko’s dedication to the Ukrainian people continued even after he left the subway. He wrote a blog on Facebook to tell stories about the war and organised financial collections. He still buys products and gives them to his friends in the subway. Tsutiko sold his house in Japan and lives in a rented apartment in Saltovka.

Inspiration to Others

“Kharkiv is cool! And I will live in Kharkiv after the victory. I do not have a house in Japan. I sold everything. So I am here forever and will help Kharkiv,” – said Fuminori Tsuchiko.  He is actively collecting donations through social media that he spends on food, medicine, and toys for children.