The Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament Drove the Oplot Main Battle Tank
On 16 June 2009 Volodymyr M. Lytvin, the Chairman of the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament), visited the State-Owned Enterprise Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (SOE KMDB).
The head of the Ukrainian parliament examined the armoured vehicles developed and manufactured by SOE KMDB (including the newest Ukrainian Oplot main battle tank, Dozor light armoured personnel carrier, BTR-4 and BTR-3U armoured personnel carriers, BMPT-72 heavy infantry combat vehicle and computer-based tank crew training simulators), as well as personally driving the Oplot tank for almost half a kilometre.
It took just several minutes to teach the Ukrainian parliament's speaker (who is a historian in his background education) how to drive the Oplot MBT, because the driving procedures of this 50-ton vehicle is quite similar to driving procedures of an modern motor-car.
Volodymyr M. Lytvin joked that, although the Oplot is a very sophisticated fighting machine, it is much easier to handle it than to handle the Ukrainian parliament.