Nos. 1 and 2 of Proletary appeared as the organ of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Committees of the R.S.D.L.P.; Nos. 3 and 4 as the organ of the Moscow, St. Petersburg and Moscow District Committees of the R.S.D.L.P.; Nos. 5 to 11 as the organ of the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow District, Perm and Kursk Committees of the R.S.D.L.P.; Nos. 12 to 20 as the organ of the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow District, Perm, Kursk and Kazan Committees of the R.S.D.L.P.; from No. 21 onwards (from the time it moved abroad) it appeared as the organ of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Committees of the R.S.D.L.P.
In practice, Proletary functioned as the central organ of the Bolsheviks. The main editorial work was done by Lenin, with most issues carrying articles by him (over a hundred in all) on questions of the revolutionary struggle of the working class. The newspaper gave prominence to questions of tactics and general politics; it published reports on the activities of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., the decisions of conferences and plenary meetings of the C.C., R.S.D.L.P., letters from the C.C. on various questions of Party work, and other documents. No. 46 published a supplement containing a notice of the extended meeting of the Editorial Board of Proletary held in Paris between June 21 and June 30, 1909, and also the resolutions of that meeting. The newspaper maintained close contact with local Party organisations.
During the years of the Stolypin reaction, the newspaper played an important part in preserving and strengthening the Bolshevik organisations, in the struggle against the liquidators, and all other opportunists. At the plenary meeting of the C.C., R.S.D.L.P. in January 1910, the Mensheviks succeeded, with the aid of the conciliators, in passing a resolution to close the newspaper Proletary under the pretence of fighting factionalism.