Studies indicated that the epidemic rise in the incidence of influenza was caused by its virus A (H3N2) circulation in Russia in the 2003-2004 season. The Center of Influenza Ecology and Epidemiology investigated 101 epidemic strains isolated the MDCK culture. Antigenic analysis showed that all viruses A(H3N2) were similar to the reference virus A/Fujian/411/02(H3N2) and only 5 strains slightly differed from the latter. Twelve (14%) strains resistant to rimantadine at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml were identified. Investigation of paired sera from the patients demonstrated a rise of antibodies to the references of influenza virus A(H3N2) in 68.7% of cases and a less increase in those to influenza viruses A(H1N1) and B. The active circulation of A(H3N2) viruses was due not only to changes in their antigenic structure, but also to the low level of antibodies to these viruses, as shown by the analysis of donor sera.