Russian tycoon Aleksandr Lebedev has become the head of the investigative section of the Moscow-based independent newspaper "Novaya gazeta".

In a statement made on his Twitter account, Lebedev asked journalists not to call him an "oligarch" or a "banker" any longer, adding that the newspaper's chief editor, Dmitry Muratov, is now his deputy.

Muratov confirmed on October 14 that Lebedev was now the chief of his newspaper's investigative team, but added that he was not aware of his own involvement in the investigative team's activities as Lebedev's deputy.

"Novaya gazeta" is well known for its independent coverage of events in Russia.

Several of its journalists have been assaulted, and its most prominent investigative reporter, Anna Politkovskaya, was shot dead outside her Moscow apartment in 2006.

Lebedev has owned "Novaya gazeta" together with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev since 2006.