When he plunged a flag into the banks of the Danube and declared the birth of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka was dismissed by governments and media organisations as a joke.
Yet one year and many diplomatic missions later, his vision of a libertarian paradise born on a patch of unwanted land has 400,000 would-be citizens, the backing of a range of political movements around the world and even its own national beer.
Thanks to the efforts of the Croatian border police, Liberland has still technically not got a single inhabitant, and its 7 sq km of boggy wetlands boast just one dilapidated building, an abandoned hunting lodge.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent, "President" Jedlicka reveals that plans are nearly in place for a group of Liberlanders to break through that police blockade in such numbers "there is nothing they can do to stop it".
Liberland lies on the Croatia-Serbia border, roughly halfway between Zagreb and Belgrade. A product of a border dispute between the two countries lasting a quarter of a century, it lies on a portion of territory which neither country is willing to claim.