Ivan's rule was full of contradiction, success and failure. Was his rule bloody? How many Russian people were killed by him?
According to this site: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2042196 Ivan the Terrible killed at least 60,000 people during his reign, but only publicly admitted to 3,750 people. Doing further research at this (http://www.guidetorussia.com/ivan-the-terrible.asp) website shows that the 60,000 killed was during a single event, so there was quite possibly many more people killed.
However, this website seems to be the most comprehensive and reliable, and claims that a total of anywhere from 60,000 to 220,000 people could have been killed, depending on the source.
Significant Events/Groups of People that led to people dying
2. When Ivan the Terrible took control over the city of Pskov, he was responsible for 60,000 deaths.
3. The Oprichnina, an organization founded by Ivan the Terrible, was probably responsible for at least 40,000 deaths (although this number is debatable).
No one will give you the exact number. Some historians, for example, tells about 200,000 or even 700,000 killed in Novgorod, but at that time the entire population of the city was about 40,000.
Historian Ruslan G. Skrynnikov (1931-2009) in his books «Начало опричнины» (1966), «Опричный террор» (1969), «Иван Грозный» (1975) gives the number of 3,000-4,000 repressed.
According to data table http://hist1.narod.ru/Science/Russia/Crisis.htm#_edn7 for one community in NW Rissia, the main reason of population decrease in the catastrophe of 1570-1571 were taxes ( together with road works 50 cases of an owner disappearing/death), oprichnina as direct reason - 11%, hunger - 20, epydemies - 11.
So, minimally 2/3 cases of owners death/disappearing were due to the Czar politics. Even if we are not counting hunger into it.
In such safe (out of war zones) areas the total losts was about 1/3.
The areas in center and further to the south had more than 50% losts.
But people who remained got wages larger about 2 times.
So, the time of Ivan the Terrible was extremely bloody. What is the measure of his own guilt - is another question and I am afraid, out of the scope of this site - it hasn't one answer.
Well, if we put aside the 'legitimate" deaths occurred during wars -- siege of Novgorod (which revolted against his rule), capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, war in Livonia etc -- then the number comes down to around 4000, most of whom are listed by Ivan IV himself in his own prayer book (which he supposedly kept in order to say proper prayers about all of them)
Almost all of these people were executed after trials and under court orders - then again, courts were very much under tzar's own authority, although there were (rare) cases when they ruled for the accused.
Quite a lot of these people were self-confessed conspirators against him, who at least three times attempted his overthrow and murder. It is also highly likely that his first (and favorite) wife was poisoned by his enemies.
For comparison, meet some of his "contemporaries": Henry VIII of England (around 50,000 people executed during his reign - heretics, those against his laws on religion, peasants revolting against his barons and his taxes); Charles IX of France (St.Bartholomew's Day Massacre, around 3000-5000 just in one day, and then tens of thousands during next month or so). While Henry VIII can at least claim that everything was done proper and according to the law, Charles IX cannot swing even that pseudo-argument.
And then we have rulers like Galeazzo Sforza (Milan), Edward I (England), Isabella and Ferdinand (Spain) who surely have at least as many victims on their conscience as Ivan IV had... I am not even talking about older times -- Philip IV (France) exterminating Templar knights, or many thousands cathars burned in Albigensian Crusade (Southern France, instigated by pope Innocent III)... etc etc ... kind of almost normal for medieval times...
And of course there are many other cases a bit closer to our era -- like tens of thousands Native Indians killed during "manifest destiny" push to the West in the USA, or hundreds of thousands (sic!) innocents murdered by Britain alone during Indian Rebellion of 1857. Again, I am talking about non-military murders and executions -- although one can always argue that many of these killings were made in the "heat of the moment" and should be considered in the historical context. Great suggestion! Why isn't that done for Ivan IV or Peter I?
Examples are abound everywhere we look... the difference is that Europe and entire Western civilization have "made peace" with that part of history by simply omitting it or forgetting about it - and they certainly do not use it to make sweeping and extremely negative generalizations about their allies these days.
Getting back to Ivan IV, it needs to be noticed that most of the contemporary accusations against him were made either by exiled traitors like Kurbsky (whose book was financed and published by Poland - at the time the foremost political and military rival of Russia) or envoys sent by Catholic church who were heavily biased against Orhodox Christianity and Russian influence in Eastern Europe.
By the way, as a good English-language treatise on the origin of the views that most Western people and media have on Russian history you could read Guy Mettan's book "Creating Russophobia" (some ideas there do not look super convincing to me, but generally this seems like a deserving introduction).