Former US President George W Bush referred to Ukraine assault as "an unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq" in speech gaffe, while he was criticising Russia's political system.

He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.
He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter. (Reuters)

Former US President George W Bush mistakenly described the invasion of Iraq as "brutal" and "unjustified" before correcting himself to say he meant to refer to Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

Bush made the comments in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while he was criticising Russia's political system.

"The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said, before correcting himself and shaking his head.

"I mean, of Ukraine."

He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.

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Remarks quickly go viral

In 2003, when Bush was president, the United States led an invasion of Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. 

The prolonged conflict killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many more.

Bush's remarks quickly went viral on social media, gathering over three million views on Twitter alone after the clip was tweeted by a Dallas News reporter.

The former US President also compared Ukranian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill, while condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the offensive in Ukraine in February. 

READ MORE: Repealing Iraq war authorisation won’t bring back its victims

Source: TRTWorld and agencies