The structure of austenitic steel before and after 25% of total number of cycles of low cycle fatigue tests conducted at room temperature is studied using TEM. It is shown that the cyclic deformation of the steel proceeds heterogeneously. The microstructure of the steel is investigated in the area between the deformed and undistorted parts of the samples. The crystallography of the observed twins and the slip bands is specified. The value of local plastic deformation within a micro area of a grain is measured, and the influence of microstructure on crack initiation is discussed.