Kremlin Palace Complex, Russia. (Wikimedia Commons/Obviously


JAKARTA - The Kremlin has reportedly asked officials involved in preparations for Russia's 2024 presidential election to stop using iPhone cell phones made by Apple, due to fears that the devices are vulnerable to Western intelligence agencies, according to a report by the Kommersant newspaper.

At a seminar organized by the Kremlin for officials involved in domestic politics, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko told officials to change their cell phones by April 1, Kommersant said, citing unnamed sources.

"It's all over for iPhones: throw them away or give them to the children," Kommersant quoted one of the meeting participants as saying, launching Reuters on March 20.

"Everyone should do it in March," he continued.

When asked about the matter on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he could not confirm the report.

"Smartphones cannot be used for official business," Peskov told reporters.

"All smartphones have a fairly transparent mechanism, regardless of the operating system - Android or iOS. Naturally, they are not used for service purposes," he explained. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kremlin may provide other devices with different operating systems to replace the iPhone, wrote Kommersant, adding that the order to stop using the iPhone was aimed at those involved in domestic politics - for which Kiriyenko is responsible.

President Vladimir Putin has always said he doesn't have a smartphone, although Peskov said the Russian president uses the internet from time to time.

Meanwhile, shortly after Russia sent troops into Ukraine last year, US and British spies claimed to have intelligence that Putin was planning to invade Ukraine. It is unclear how the spies obtained the intelligence.

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