A man holds an iPhone 14 as Apple Inc's new models go on sale at an Apple store in Beijing


  • The Kremlin believes iPhones are more suspectible to hacking by Western specialists
  • The ban on iPhones will be effective beginning April 1
  • The ban will affect the Kremlin's internal bloc and may extend to officials in regional administrations

The Kremlin has banned its staff members from using Apple phones and instead switch to using Android phones over information-security concerns, according to a report.

The directive, which was first imposed during a seminar in Moscow earlier this month, was set in place because the Kremlin believes iPhones are more susceptible to hacking and espionage by Western specialists than Android phones or Chinese- and Russian-made analog phones, Russian business publication Kommersant reported, citing officials present at the event.

"The iPhone is done. [We have to] either throw them away or give them to [our] children. Everyone will have to do it in March," one of the newspaper's sources said, as translated by The Insider.

The iPhone ban will be effective beginning April 1. The affected officials in the Kremlin's "internal bloc," which consists of the Russian presidential administration's domestic policy, public projects, State Council and IT departments, have until the deadline to throw away their U.S.-made devices.

The publication also noted that the ban may extend to internal policy officials in Russia's regional administrations. It is unclear if the ban would be expanded to cover all Russian government officials in the future.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not confirm reports on the ban on iPhones. However, he noted that the use of all smartphones of any kind is prohibited for official use.

"Smartphones should not be used for official business," Peskov told reporters, as quoted by Reuters. "Any smartphone has a fairly transparent mechanism, no matter what operating system it has – Android or iOS. Naturally, they are not used for official purposes."

The report about the ban on iPhone use among Kremlin staffers comes after Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko ordered Maksut Shadaev, head of Russia's Ministry of Communications, to instruct regional governors to only use Russian messaging apps in June last year.

Later on, Russian officials were also advised to stop using the video conferencing platform Zoom in favor of the domestic platform Trueconf.

Earlier this month, Russia also adopted a law that banned government organizations from using foreign messaging apps including Discord, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Telegram, Viber and Whatsapp.