THE Kremlin has banned iPhones over fears they can be hacked by CIA and GCHQ spies.
Putin’s aides were given days to ditch their Apple smartphones.
A source told Moscow’s Kommersant newspaper: “It’s all over for the iPhone.
“Either throw it away or give it to the kids.”
Staff were given until April 1 to replace their US handsets with phones that use Russia’s Aurora software or the Android operating system.
The pro-Kremlin source claimed the iPhones were “more susceptible to hacking and espionage by Western experts compared to other smartphones”.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Smartphones should not be used for official businesss.”
He warned every smartphone was “transparent” – suggesting it could be hacked.
He added: “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 deputy head of Putin’s staff, Sergei Kiriyenko, issued the iPhone ban to political officers working on next year’s Russian elections.
Apple declined to comment.
It follows bans in Britain, the US and Europe on government staff using TikTok on official phones, over fears the app collects too much data.