On April 12, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that the time has come for Russia’s nationwide draft to end, though “time and suitable funds will be necessary” to carry out the move. Many media sources quoted Putin’s statement. However, the president has been discussing a transition from mandatory to contractual military service in Russia since the beginning of his regime. In 2001, he even approved a government plan to shift to a contract army by 2010. Here’s what Putin has said about that option at various stages in his presidency.