I've visited Europe many times. Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Swtzerland, Germany, UK. I have a good understanding of Europe life standards.
There is zero negative difference between Moscow or Sankt-Peterburg and any Europe capital city. Other big Russian cities are really not so far from Moscow, Kazan for example, many other cities of WC2018 as well. Big cities are ok for sure.
Smaller cities suffer from its low economical profile what is connected to weakness of "small business". People can't build successful business in small cities so they remain poor. It seems crazy - now you can sell whatever you want through the internet worldwide. Moreover, you can get full information from internet for your production and marketing. Why they don't do it???
Our education is not up to date, I agree. But everyone has a full access to any knowledge in the world right from the fucking toilet! Do they need a fucking teacher to explain them each step of their life? Do you think in States they are taught how to build hot-rods or custom bikes or custom guitars in school or University? Fuck, no. And do you realise that nowadays you can earn money even selling the sound of your fart to gamedevs??
Do you still think it would be a good idea to pay oil money to those people who fucked up their lives and who never do something worthy?
If you just a driver who deliver bread to the stores in the early morning, with that $450 sallary, you still have free time that you can spend on self development. You can be an artist, a coder, a screenwriter, a blogger, a musician, a motion or graphic designer - you need only computer and internet, nothing else.
Putin can't come to you and make you invest your time in yourself. Putin sells oil and gas and feed 40mil pensioners, Army, Police, Military industry, Government and 2mil of clerks (who actually steal).
Putin do not need money for himself as he is not a free man and will never be. He don't go shopping. Can you imagine how many enemies he can? All he can afford is a well guarded golden cage for himself and his family. Maximum what a rich person can achieve for itself is to build several castles in different corners of the world and fly between them on the private jet while his money is working in some stocks and shares. For Putin this limit was reached 10 years ago. He can't add nothing to this, and he will never be a free man to use all benefits of being rich.