NATO and Russia are exchanging heated language reminiscent of Cold War days with accusations of sinister geopolitical plotting and human rights abuses flying across an increasingly deep divide.

NATO's top U.S. civilian official said Thursday says that "an angry, revisionist Russia" was stopping at little to re-establish its clout in Europe, including redrawing "borders by force to achieve its goals."

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said President Vladimir Putin's "aim seems to be to turn Ukraine into a failed state and to suppress and discredit alternative voices in Russia, so as to prevent a Russian 'Maidan,'" referring to the Ukraine uprising which ousted Moscow-ally Viktor Yanukovych last year.

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov blasted the West for trying to create "new divisive lines in Europe."