Russian president echoes Al Capone as he says ‘weapons and politeness’ are better than ‘politeness alone’
Vladimir Putin issued a defiant message to the West on Tuesday, accusing the United States of trying to “subjugate” Russia while promising it would never succeed.
The Russian president also appeared to channel Al Capone, the Chicago mobster, when he joked that “weapons and politeness” were more effective than “politeness alone”.
Meeting supporters at a forum in Moscow, Mr Putin corrected another speaker who said that the United States wanted to humiliate Russia.
“They don’t want to humiliate us, they want to subjugate us, to solve their problems at our expense,” he said. “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.”
The president was speaking to members of the All-Russia People’s Front, a coalition of groups that back him.
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.
Before his speech on Tuesday, the Russian leader was shown a new military vehicle described as a cross between a car and an armoured personnel carrier.