We have a proverb in Russia about “no place like home” that has a uniquely Russian twist to it: “Every wader boasts of her marshes” (vsyák kulík svoyó bolóto khválit). I’m one of these waders. However, in order to get to what people really think you need to weed out opinions dictated by the crowd mentality and the thirst for belonging.
Here in Moscow, the most vocal proponents of Russia as the best country in the world are people on the top—who also typically stash their money in Western offshores, buy property in Florida and around the Mediterranean, and keep their families in London, Paris, California and New York.
Which is why I put more trust in people voting with their feet, and placing their money where their mouth is. I look at the simple stats: where do people who can afford to move wherever they want, choose to live. The picture is rather straightforward: the Anglosphere and their globalized affiliates outperform the rest of the world hands down.