Manufacturers had jokingly labelled the vehicles "polite armoured cars" – in reference to "the polite people", a phrase that became popular in the spring to describe the Russian soldiers who led the Kremlin's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.On seeing the machine, Mr Putin quipped: "You can get a lot more done with weapons and politeness than you can with politeness alone." The phrase appeared to echo a saying attributed to Al Capone: "You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." Gun-lobbyists in the US also use the slogan: "An armed society is a polite society." Mr Putin said that events in Crimea and Ukraine – where pro-Moscow rebels have carved out a de facto independent territory in the Russo-phone east of the country – had united the Russian people."Our nation has shown the way with real civil participation, empathy and patriotism, and it has demonstrated its unity," he said.Qing China, which had just lost the Opium War with Britain, was unable to defend the region.
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"They want to bring us under control." Mr Putin added: "Throughout history no one has ever succeeded in doing that to Russia and they never will." His characteristically sharp-tongued delivery suggested Mr Putin was keen to dispel any idea that he had been cowed at the G20 summit in Brisbane over the weekend, which he left early after a series of Western leaders upbraided him over Russia's military intervention in the Ukraine crisis.