Soyombike is the national hero of Tatars and Tatarstan and even a child knows the tragic history and the destiny of Soyombike. She is the daughter of Crimean Khan of Nogay branch Yusufbek and the wife of Safagaray Khan of Kazan (1536-49). After the death of Safargaray in 1549, Soyombike became the regent for her 5-year old son, Utemeshgaray. The tower erected by Soyombike at the site of her husband's tomb is still standing in Kazan after more than 450 years and aptly named the Soyombike Tower.
Ulug Muhammad Khan, the founder of Kazan Khanate, defeated Muscowy Tsar Wladimir in 1437, created Qasim Khanate as a buffer zone between Moscow and Kazan and the Tsars of Moscow agreed to pay an annual tribute of 30,000 gold to Kazan Khanate. Moscow stopped paying tribute in 1481 and gradually conquered areas under the control of Kazan Khanate. By 1551 Tsar Ivan the Terrible was ready to conquer Kazan. To avoid calamity, Soyombike agreed to become hostage to the Tsar with her son, and went to Moscow and spare her beloved city from destruction. The song you hear "Soyombike kitep bara" means "Soyombike is going away" while her subjects are in anguish.
Unfortunately, she was only able to postpone the inevitable only by a year. In 1552, Ivan the Terrible took the city, massacred more than 30,000 inhabitants and initiated a program to convert the Muslim Tatars of the vast hinterland into Christianity. Utemeshgaray was baptized, renamed as Aleksandr and died under mysterious circumstances. His tomb is within the Kremlin walls and the fate of his mother Soyombike is uncertain. Some believe that she was forcibly married again and others believe she died of broken heart.