Still Russia''s dominant politician, Vladimir Putin can only relish the prospect of a new bout of Russian-US rivalry with American leader-in-waiting Barack Obama, say analysts.

While much of the world celebrated Obama''s US presidential win, a stony-faced Russian reaction was a reminder of Cold War-style tensions between Washington and Moscow.

On the Internet, Russian bloggers portrayed the victory of a black candidate as evidence of American decline. On an official level, President Dmitry Medvedev chose the day of Obama''s win to announce the deployment of short-range missiles to Kaliningrad, a Russian outpost in Europe.

Numerous analysts said Medvedev''s response was clearly authored by Putin, no longer president himself but powerful in the prime minister''s post and long the spearhead of Russian attacks on the United States.

"Putin is of course number one in this tandem," said Yevgeny Volk, head of the Moscow office of the US Heritage Foundation, a research centre.

The announcement of missile deployments to Kaliningrad is meant "to test Obama -- whether he really is a strong and efficient leader," said Volk.

Although he stood down as president in May in accordance with the constitution, Putin has kept a high profile.

He has released a judo training video, has "saved" a group of journalists from a loose Siberian tiger using a tranquilizer dart, and still meets world leaders such as Italy''s Silvio Berlusconi and Libya''s Moamer Kadhafi, whom he hosted this month in the Kremlin.