Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed a decree scrapping military conscription as of 2014.
Yanukovych announced the move during an award ceremony for the country's highest honor, the title Hero of Ukraine, on Oct. 14.
"Today our military arsenal, our technology is of such a standard that we require highly trained professionals. The technology being used is highly complex, which is why we need a professional army. These professional soldiers will have to safeguard the security of our country," the president said, Itar- Tass reported.
The transition towards a professional army will reduce Ukraine's armed forces from the current 180,000 to 120,000. Out of this number, 70,000 will serve in combat units, Itar-Tass said.
Ukraine's Interior Troops will continue to be staffed by conscripts.