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Kazakh Military Draft To End By 2016

A Kazakh military training exercise off the coast of the Caspian Sea in April
Kazakhstan's military says the country's armed forces will become fully professional by 2016.

General Saken Zhasuzaqov, the armed forces chief of staff, said in a statement issued on October 9 that by 2016, 99 percent of the country's armed forces will be comprised of soldiers serving on contracts only.

Currently, 65 percent of Kazakhstan's 109,500 military personnel are conscripts on mandatory service.

Last week, another former Soviet state, Ukraine, announced that it had started the last mandatory drafting of conscripts into the armed forces, saying that by the end of 2014, the Ukrainian army would be fully professional.

In January, Georgian authorities said the Georgian Army would abolish conscription by 2017.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS