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Former US President George W Bush was left red-faced after accidentally condemning a Russian invasion of “Iraq” – the country his own White House decided to attack in 2003.

Bush was one of a series of speakers at his own Presidential Centre, alongside former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others.

The 43rd US president, who served from 2001 to 2008, launched a sustained rhetorical assault on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Former US President George W Bush has fallen to another gaffe. (George W Bush Presidential Centre)

“Russian elections are rigged. Political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from the electoral process,” Bush said.

“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.

Quieter, Bush muttered “Iraq, too”, before glancing back up at the audience and saying “75” – an apparent reference to his age.

In this 2006 photo a US Army soldier from the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment looks on before the start of a mission to monitor a mosque during Friday prayers in Baghdad, Iraq.
US troops deployed to Iraq in 2003. (AP)

His accidental reference to the deadly conflict, which sparked a fall in US prestige around the world and saw hundreds of thousands of people killed, drew laughter from the audience.

Bush also praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, comparing him to Winston Churchill, and saying he led his country heroically against Russian aggression.

The Bush administration invaded Iraq in March 2003, claiming the US had intelligence that then-dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

No such weapons were found, but Hussein’s regime was toppled and a democratic government installed.

Sad fate of animals at Ukraine zoo

Bush declared victory in May 2003, but US troops remained in Iraq until 2011.

Estimates of casualties vary but typically are thought to be several hundred thousand, with many more replaced.

About 5000 US troops were ultimately killed during military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq launched by the Bush administration.

It is also thought that the invasion of Iraq contributed to the rise of ISIS, with many ex-Hussein officers and soldiers serving in the terror group’s command structure.

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