George W. Bush has described the US invasion of Iraq 19 years ago as “brutal” and “unjustified”. Upon realizing his faux pas, he claimed to have been referring to the Ukraine war. The former US President delivered a speech at an event in Dallas on Wednesday criticizing Russia’s political system.

“The result is the lack of a separation of powers in Russia and the decision of one man to launch a totally unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said before correcting himself and shaking his head. “I mean Ukraine.”

He joked that his age of 75 was to blame for the slip of the tongue. The audience erupted in laughter.

In 2003, under President George W. Bush, the US invaded Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. However, these were never found. The Iraq war claimed many thousands of lives and led to refugee movements.

A video clip of Bush’s slip of the tongue went viral on social media.