Beijing: China's social media platform Weibo has become a new front in Russia and Ukraine tensions as it is trying to propagate pro-Russian and anti-Western narratives.

On Tuesday, Horizon News, a subsidiary of Beijing News (state-media) accidentally posted censorship directives (that it may have received) on how to cover the Ukraine situation on its Weibo page.

It is a very important post because it gives us a rare window to look into how the narratives in social media are controlled through state media outlets.

The post said that any content showing Russia unfavourably as well as any pro-Western content would not be published.

It also says "Show me (the news item) before posting it for the first time. The comment section is to be controlled with featured comments. Enable top comments first, and then pick out the appropriate ones, make sure they are responsible for what they comment. Really pay attention to the comments. Keep your eyes on each post for at least two days. Ensure proper handover. If you are running a topic (hashtag), only use it from People's Daily, Xinhua and CCTV."

As of Wednesday, conspicuously no hashtags related to the Ukraine issue can be found even in the top 20 Weibo trends which shows that the authorities are trying to suppress discussion on the Ukraine issue on Chinese social media.

However, news related to the situation is being shared by Weibo accounts of state media outlets with hashtags such as "#Putin recognizes the independence of eastern Ukrainian civilian armed areas" and "#Change in Russian Ukrainian situation", "#Russia will provide military assistance to the two eastern Ukrainian regions".

Further, on Tuesday, two hashtags were trending on Weibo, at number 7 is "#Ukraine released a statement on Weibo".

With the sudden announcement of Russia recognizing "the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR)" and "the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)" as independent and sovereign states, the Ukraine Embassy to China released a statement concerning the issue in Chinese, bringing the issue to a top trending topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, reported Global Times.

Another was "#Ukraine" under which the news is reported in a fairly non-partisan way till now just stating the facts. State media Weibo accounts are putting independence inside quotation marks.

The ''Ukraine issue'' became a hot topic on Weibo on Tuesday, with some 900 million views and prompting nearly 200,000 discussions, reported Global Times.