Danube Delta full map with its distributaries identified

The Chilia or Kilia branch (Romanian: Brațul Chilia; Ukrainian: Кілійське гирло) is one of three main distributary of the river Danube, that contributes in forming the Danube Delta. Located at the most northern area of the delta, the distributary creates a natural border between Romania and Ukraine and is named after the two towns carrying the same name, located across on its both banks: Kiliya, on the northern, Ukrainian bank and Chilia Veche (Old Chilia) on the southern, Romanian bank.

The other two main branches of the Danube are the Sulina branch and the Sfântu Gheorghe branch.

The Chilia branch begins at the Ismail Islet where Danube splits on Chilia branch and Sulina branch and ends near the town of Vylkove where Chilia branch splits further into Ochakove distributary (eastward) and Old Istambul distributary (southward). Chilia branch is 104 kilometres (65 mi) long. The flow at the entrance into the delta is of 6,350 m3/s; the Chilia branch carries between 58 and 60 percent of this flow.

At the Chilia branch is located the former Ottoman fortress and today Ukrainian city of Izmail. The fall of Izmail in 1789 led to loss by the Ottomans complete control in the northern Pontic shores (today southern Ukraine) and expansion the Russian Empire to the Black Sea and intervention in Romanian affairs.

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