Kilia is therefore sometimes referred to as Nova Kilia (Hoво Килия, Hoва Кілія, translit. Novo Kiliya, Romanian: Chilia Nouă), or "New Chilia". It was founded by Stephen the Great of Moldavia, in order to counteract the Ottoman Empire which had taken control over the former town in the 15th century. It was a major Moldavian port. However, this site too was eventually conquered by Ottomans in 1484, who kept it until 1790, when it was taken by Russian Army under the command of the general Ivan Gudovich during Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).
After being bombarded by the Anglo-French fleet in July 1854, it was given to Romania on the conclusion of the war Crimean War - see Treaty of Paris (1856). In 1878, Kilia was transferred to Russia together with the Budjak. Between 1918 and 1940 it was again part Romania, then occupied by the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR (it was briefly held yet again by Romania, from 1941 to 1944/1945, during World War II), and passed on to Ukraine after the Soviet downfall.