The Battle of Warsaw (Russian: Варшáвское сражéние, Polish: Bitwa Warszawska; sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish: Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War, which began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasting until the Treaty of Riga (1921). The Battle of Warsaw was fought from 13 to 25 August 1920 as Red Army forces commanded by Mikhail Tukhachevsky approached the Polish capital of Warsaw and nearby Modlin Fortress. On August 16, Polish forces commanded by Józef Piłsudskicounterattacked from the south, forcing the Russian forces into a disorganised withdrawal eastward and behind the Niemen River. Estimated Bolshevik losses were 10,000 killed, 500 missing, 10,000 wounded and 66,000 taken prisoner, compared with Polish losses of some 4,500 killed, 10,000 missing and 22,000 wounded. Before the Polish victory at the Vistula, both the Bolsheviks and the majority of foreign experts considered Poland to be on the verge of defeat. The stunning, unexpected Polish victory crippled the Bolshevik forces. In the following months, several more Polish victories secured Poland's independence and eastern borders.
Anton Chekhov was a Russianphysician, short story writer, and playwright. His brief playwriting career produced four classics of the repertoire, while his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov practised as a doctor throughout his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress". Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s last two plays, The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a special challenge to an acting ensemble, and they also challenge audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". Not everyone appreciated that challenge: Leo Tolstoy reportedly told Chekhov, "You know, I cannot abide Shakespeare, but your plays are even worse". Tolstoy did, however, admire Chekhov's short stories. Chekhov had at first written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. His originality consists in an early use of the stream of consciousness technique, later exploited by Virginia Woolf and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure.