Even compared with Moscow, you can get from any point A to point B in thirty minutes in Kazan. In Moscow, if you got somewhere that quickly, it wasn't very far away.
What would you fix in the republic? What can be improved?
We need to increase interest in our region, look for niches in which it can beat everyone else. We need to find the thing that makes Tatarstan the best.
Like the extreme-sports park near the bridge. I have friends who've moved from abroad thanks to the world-class extreme sports, and they're athletes. It's convenient for them to train there, so why not?
The ecology needs to be improved also. A lot of people don't go to China because the environment is bad. Our country, of course, is also not perfect, but better than in China. I'd remove the chemical production from the city center, like Nefis Cosmetics near Kaban Lakes, which emits an unpleasant odor.
Will fixing this stop the brain drain from Tatarstan?
You know, for anyone who wants to leave, it makes no sense to go abroad for a bachelor's degree. Kazan Federal University, for example, is in the top 100 global ratings in one field, in the top 200 in another, in third and fourth fields it's in the top 300 or top 500. In fact, even if it's in the top 1000 overall, that means that it's in the 0.1% of the best universities in the world. So, if you just go abroad to study anywhere, there's a chance that you'll find yourself in a university that is inferior to KFU in the field you've chosen.
It makes sense to go for a PhD, work in different conditions, earn a qualification. But you should go to work with a specific leader in that field. Not that I urge everyone to return or leave. There's an English saying: "the grass is always greener on the other side." Everywhere has its advantages and its own problems.
If you leave, then your home isn't going to improve. If you fix up your own backyard, then it will be great. Then you live at home and everything seems just fine, but then the neighbor gets a newer iron door and a nicer carpet.