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LONG-LOST AMERICAN TO VISIT U.S.

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An American stranded in the Soviet Union as a boy 66 years ago is finally going home - for a visit.

Discovered in Ukraine after the Soviet collapse, Mike Semko, 74, considered "lost" in the Cold War, traveled from his adopted western Ukraine home Monday to the capital of Kiev for his first trip back to the United States on Tuesday.Born in Omrod, Pa., in 1919, Semko and his brother John, now deceased, were sent to Ukraine in 1928 to be raised by family members when their mother died in the United States.

The American was discovered in 1992 when a joint U.S.-Russian commission released a list of 39 names of Americans trapped and apparently lost in the Soviet Union during the Cold War period.

Semko, a grandfather who turns 75 in October, is traveling on a new American passport issued by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Semko was a Soviet citizen, but that vanished with the country, and rather than seek Ukrainian citizenship, the newly discovered American sought to restore his severed ties to his homeland.

But Semko, who worked on a Soviet collective farm, also lost his English. He spoke about his return to his homeland in Ukrainian. The red-faced balding American, who was always called "Mike" by villagers.