Ukraine announced on Thursday (Aug 28) that it will return to mandatory conscription in the coming months as its troops battle pro-Russian insurgents in the east. "The National Security and Defence Council has decided to restart conscription in the fall (autumn)," Mykhailo Koval, deputy head of the council, said after an emergency meeting chaired by President Petro Poroshenko. Ukraine's government decided last year to switch to a contract-based professional army, ending Soviet-style bi-annual drafts in the spring and fall for men between 18 and 25. The last call-up into the Ukrainian armed forces, numbering 168,000 people in the beginning of 2014, was in October 2013 for a period of one year. In April the military announced partial mobilisation for people with military experience ahead of its operation in the east, where pro-Russian insurgents had declared two regions independent of Kiev's authority.